Senators Emphasize the Importance Of Enacting Marijuana Banking Through Defense Bill
Key Senators Support Cannabis Banking Inside Of Defense Bill
Political Figures Want Cannabis Banking Measure Approved Now
A group of leading Senate committee members has issued a message to the chamber. This letter that was sent to the chamber was in regards to adopting language from a Defense bill. Which the House has recently passed. This defense bill has a cannabis measure that would protect banks that work with MRB’s
As mentioned above the House has already passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in September. Along with an amendment that would stop financial institutions from being penalized by federal regulators. Particularly for just working with marijuana companies that are legitimate in legal states.
Currently, five members on the Senate Armed Services Committee stepped forward The group is urging leadership to assure that the final package keeps the same language. Especially before the measure is sent to President Joe Biden for his signature.
More Political Support For Cannabis Reform
Led by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), the letter states that “financial institutions are often reluctant to transact with cannabis-related businesses, even in states that have some form of legalized cannabis, due to legal and regulatory risks arising from inconsistent federal and state laws.”
“Allowing cannabis businesses operating legally and in compliance with state law to access financial services without federal reprisal would address public safety and compliance challenges, helping communities reduce cash-motivated crimes,” it continues.
Passing the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act through NDAA “would support a rapidly growing industry that creates jobs, supports small businesses, and raises revenue in states that have chosen to legalize cannabis, while reducing safety risks,” the letter—which was also signed by Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), Angus King (I-ME), Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ)—says.
Pushing For The SAFE Banking Act To Pass In 2021
The SAFE Banking Act has been passed in various forms in the House five times already. However, it’s so far failed to make its way through the Senate. Stakeholders have remained positive that the chamber would pass the legislation with the Democrats holding the majority. Yet some key members like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have insisted on passing comprehensive legalization. Such as a reform bill he’s finalizing—first.
That said, Schumer has signaled that he’s open to enacting banking reform through NDAA if it contained social equity provisions.
“The bill’s list of co-sponsors is also bipartisan in both the House and the Senate. Given the demonstrated broad support for this measure, we ask you to ensure that the text of the SAFE Banking Act remains in the forthcoming final conference version of the FY22 NDAA by the Senate receding to the House of Representatives on Title LIV of H.R.4350 (Sections 5401 through 5415),” the new letter concludes. “This will help cannabis-related businesses, create jobs, and strengthen public safety in our communities.”
So far the Senate has not yet passed its version of NDAA. Although after it happens, a bicameral panel of mediators will be appointed to reconcile the differences. Particularly between the measure and the one the House has currently passed. It will be up to that conference committee to determine whether the cannabis banking language makes it to Joe Biden’s office.
Final Thoughts Of Cannabis Banking Passed Through The Defense Bill
In early November, a bipartisan alliance of 24 governors urged congressional administrators to enact marijuana banking. Which would be done through large-scale defense legislation. A group of small marijuana business owners also recently spoke on the matter. These business owners claimed that the incremental banking legislation could help support social equity efforts.
Rodney Hood, a board member of the National Credit Union Administration also shed some light. Mr. Hood said it makes the most sense for government agencies to resolve banking complications now. Yet, an official with the Internal Revenue Service stated back in October that the agency would like to “get paid,”.
In addition to it helping the marijuana industry gain access to banks like companies in other legal markets. Which would also help to comply with tax laws. Federal data shows that many banks remain hesitant to take on cannabis companies as clients, however, which is likely due to the fact that the plant is a strictly controlled substance under federal law.